Adam Parore: Aggressive and positive McCullum well worth a punt as next captain


Ross Taylor has the inside running for the test captaincy but I would give the job to Brendon McCullum.

In some respects, the importance of captaincy gets overstated, especially in a tactical sense. You don't win games through magical field settings.

I pushed for Daniel Vettori to take over from Stephen Fleming, one of the reasons being that he had more chance of getting the best out of the players. Fleming had become detached from the younger brigade.

Lifting your players is the priority for a captain these days.

Captains must be judged by their records and Vettori's isn't great - not good enough to say he was a success.

Yet given the ongoing top order batting woes, it's almost a wonder that he managed six victories out of 32 tests.

Witnessing our third century opening stand in around six years recently told the story.

We can't compete while the top order misfires, and there isn't much a captain can do about that.

I don't have the evidence to predict whether Taylor will or won't extract the best out of the players, or whether the captaincy affects his own game either way.

McCullum - who I understand really wants the captaincy - would be very positive and aggressive in his attitude and demeanour, and definitely worth the punt.

As for the World Cup squad, there is no problem with McCullum being selected as the only specialist wicketkeeper.

In the docile Indian conditions, even a total novice such as designated back-up Jamie How should do a good enough job and the ball doesn't often get past the bat in the one-day game.

Carrying a second specialist is a bit of a waste and while McCullum has had the odd injury problem, How could provide adequate cover until a specialist replacement arrives. Some of our early opposition won't be much chop anyway.

Bottom line - there is no such thing as a perfect squad and there is the odd risk involved either way.

I don't know enough about newcomer Luke Woodcock to comment on his prospects, except to say the selectors have done very well to even find someone who hasn't played for New Zealand before.

Our fortunes are not going to come down to the fringe guys. Our six or so top players must fire. First and foremost we need to be capable of reaching totals in the 260 to 300 region.

Australia, England South Africa and India are the major contenders to my mind. Even though England usually fail in the big tournaments, they will be in a cocky frame of mind having won the Ashes and the T20 World Cup.

New Zealand should make the quarter-finals, and the Black Caps have the potential to surprise.

Meanwhile Pakistan were deserved winners of the two test series here and can't be criticised for not chasing a winning total harder at the Basin Reserve.

They could have won in a canter, but still had the right to protect their series lead.

New Zealand cricket ditched the third test, and what we saw in the final session is always on the cards in a two test series which stands at 1-0.

- NZ Herald

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